YSU's educators OK pact with university

The Youngstown State University faculty has accepted a three-year contract.

A vote total on the tentative agreement today was not yet disclosed.

“Our members accepted this concessionary contract for the overall good of YSU, though it will be a financial hardship for most of us,” Julia Gergits, union president, said.

Stan Guzell, chief negotiator, said the union hopes future negotiations will be more collaborative. “Using a high priced Cleveland attorney made this process longer, more confrontational and more expensive for the university than it needed to be,” he said.

YSU trustees are to meet Tuesday Oct. 11 and are expected to vote on the proposed pact.

The deal includes higher health-care contributions and an $80,000 cap on summer-school pay. It calls for no raises in the first two years with a 2 percent increase in the third and final year.

The employee health-care contribution also will increase in an amount that equals 10 percent the first year, 12 percent the second and 15 percent the final year.

The formula developed for health care is income-based, meaning those who make more will pay more while those making less will pay less.

A third tier also was added for health care, allowing a category for single-plus-one in addition to single and family coverage.

The average faculty nine-month salary is about $72,000. Summer-school pay is in addition to the regular salary.

The vote comes after weeks of meetings between the two sides.

Last month, the faculty union rejected what the university had termed its last, best offer, saying members would strike before the start of the fall semester.

The union leadership changed gears within hours of the vote, though, opting not to strike and to keep talking with administration representatives.

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